Real Steel Q & A with Anthony Mackie

Real Steel will be out on Blu-ray/DVD on January 24, 2012! I was so lucky to be counted among the many bloggers who got to travel to Los Angeles for a special advance screening of the film, and to participate in group interviews with the cast and crew of the film.

You can see my interview here, and learn more about the character of Finn and the actor who plays him, Anthony Mackie, in the following Q & A.

Q: What attracted you to the role of Finn?

A: I haven’t had the opportunity yet in my career to really do anything rambunctious and outlandish. When I read the script, I was like, “It’s time to have some fun.”

Q: Is there something specific you look for in the roles you choose?

A: I just always look for something different, weird and creative. I feel like I’m blessed because I get to do what I love. Why wouldn’t I go to work and have a good time and enjoy myself and do something different and challenge myself? Johnny Depp shouldn’t be the only dude having fun doing this.

Q: Were you inspired by Don King for your character or did you want to add a whole new spin to your character?

A: Finn is 100 percent Don King. When I was in high school I read a story about Don King and he said, “Set yourself on fire and the world will pay to watch you burn.” I thought that was the most amazing thing I’d ever heard. I wrote it on my wall and everything.

I feel like there’s an element of Don King that a lot of people don’t really pay attention to. Besides Muhammad Ali, he’s the second most charismatic and influential figure in the world of boxing. A lot of people take that for granted because of all the crazy stuff he has said and all of the words he made up, but I really feel like there is something beautiful about the art and craft he brought to boxing. He also turned it into a billion dollar business. I tried to turn Finn into that kind of character in case there’s a sequel so I could finally get Don King’s hair. I asked Shawn Levy for his hair in this one, but he said no.

Q: You’ve been quoted as saying that you were a bit intimidated when you first saw a robot that was built for the film. Can you talk about that experience?

A: It’s not every day you see an almost nine-foot tall robot just standing there. I mean, when I go to certain nightclubs or bars and see a six-foot-four black dude, I’m used to that. But when I see a nine-foot tall animatronics robot and he lifts his arm and puts it down, it’s very intimidating at first. I call it the Jack Bauer effect. When something is in the room and it’s not normal, I wait for that thing to go crazy and kill everybody in the room. Or it’s like going to somebody’s house and they have a Great Dane on the rug. It’s “Nice doggie” until he gets up and mauls my face. That’s how I looked at the robots.

Q: What was it like working with Hugh Jackman?

A: Hugh’s a great guy. We had a lot of fun and he was always open and responsive and really cool. The dude doesn’t have a negative bone in his body. It’s weird for somebody to play Wolverine and not be a rugby-playing, crazy dude but he’s not at all. That shows his versatility as an actor but also his humility as a human being.

*Q & A was provided by Click-Comm to promote the Blu-ray release of the film Real Steel. I received no monetary compensation for this post. Any thoughts or opinions expressed are my own.*


Jen currently lives in Utah with her family, and enjoys reading and writing in her spare time. She is active on popular book websites including paperbackswap.com, Goodreads.com, and luxuryreading.com.

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